Updated: Oct 17, 2018
Providing great client service is not just about operational services, it requires efficient and effective client client solution life cycle management. Accounting for clients journey's through your business for the entire life cycle of your client solutions, from initial request to service delivery and ongoing change, invoicing and renewals. In properly accounting for these journeys, service providers should recognise the difference in both new and existing clients, the stage at which clients are engaged and the nature of the products and services sold. Providers should enable the right people in doing the right things at the right time, caring for outcome and the next stage in the client journey. Without this care the heart of any service provider will start to suffer, generally that is your people, clients and finances.
In this blog we will focus on client engagements for new and existing clients and how quality product through Configure Price Quote (CPQ) to cash capabilities can help.
Product life cycle management
Although not the focus of this particular blog, it is important to understand that quality product life cycle management is fundamental to effective client life cycle management. Any new or changed product or service development should be considerate of client journey's and solution life cycle, to ensure a quality and effective service experience. This should be achieved by working with the business, it's people, processes and systems to ensure fit for purpose products, services and capability. A well integrated CPQ system presenting centralised structured portfolios of products and services that are packaged to best enable your people can help drive improved business performance. We will further explore various aspects of product life cycle management in future blogs.
New client solutions, contracting and delivering
Service providers are typically delivering multiple products and services making up what can be complex solutions to their clients. It is also common for providers to be servicing clients of multiple business units, locations, platforms or divisions that are subject to change. By having systems to enable commercial understanding of entitlement in a hierarchical context of your clients business will better enable your people to be great at servicing your clients.
Sales and account teams need to be well armed to be able to rapidly and accurately configure, price and quote at both indicative and final level for simple and complex products at both low and high volumes. It is also worth reinforcing that it's all well and good quickly getting a price contracted to, however if this results in downstream delivery and change / account management issues, this can be costly, high impacting, worst case causing satisfaction issues that are not easily or quickly rectified. Having quality, well defined fit for purpose portfolio of well packaged product and services, and system that allows for building and maintaining a commercial representation of the contracted solution can be invaluable. Typically this requires an effective business operating model, processes and integrated CPQ system helping revolutionise your product to cash capability whilst helping improve business performance.
Existing client change, invoicing, reporting and renewals
Once a client is delivered and in operational service delivery, it is common for change to occur, for most service providers in today's world we must be rapid, effective and informed with such change to achieve great client service.
Client account teams require good commercial entitlement insight into existing solutions, ideally in the context of your clients business, they need ability to rapidly deal with commodity requests and what if questions. Those configuring solutions need to be able to understand the commercial impact of design decisions, as well as to be easily able to reconfigure solutions, products and services, whilst also providing quality output to clients and downstream service delivery through to invoicing and financial reporting. With the right process, operating model and systems such as servicePath CPQ the solution is at hand.
If you are a service provider and are experiencing such challenges and need an effective way forward Vendira can help, we assess, advise and help redefine your capability, get in touch to find out more.